Outdated institutional structures for local government
Outmoded local authority legal structures
Inappropriate styles of local government
[Developing countries] The local authority structures and legal frameworks in most developing countries tend to be based on those designed for rural and agricultural communities of the colonial period and are completely inappropriate to both the local culture and to the challenges of rapid urbanization. Since these structures are based on models from industrialized countries, they have tended to favour the development of energy- and material-intensive cities that are dependent on imports.
Local authorities in developing countries have not been given the political power, decision-making capacity and access to revenues that are essential for them to fulfil their role. This has led to frustration, to continuing criticism of local authorities for insufficient and inefficient services, and to a downward spiral of weakness feeding on weakness.